Friday, May 15, 2009

Citigroup... Getting Their Act Together?

It is little, unknown news like this that makes be bullish on the banks. In the past few days I have become increasingly bullish on Citgroup. Yes their bank sucked, no doubt about that. But they are working hard to fix their loan portfolio, and I am confident that their efforts are going to work. Citigroup is lending out a lot of their money, while some people have a problem with that, I think it is the best thing to do because that is how banks make money... Citi has been doing a lot of lending to schools and city government, which typically provide a lower default rate than the individual consumer. Also Citigroup is conducting efforts to keep people from foreclosure (as seen in this article). The less foreclosures, the less write offs Citi has to do. Citi is not the best bank right now, but I certainly think they have the most room for improvement.
CHICAGO, May 15, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) ----Today, Citi's Office of Homeownership Preservation (OHP: undefined, undefined, undefined%) announced that Citi's foreclosure prevention and industry-leading loss mitigation efforts in the first three months of this year have successfully helped thousands of people throughout Illinois and the rest of the country avoid foreclosure.

CitiMortgage is the fourth largest mortgage servicer in the United States and is committed to helping families stay in their homes. According to Citi, its U.S. efforts to keep distressed Citi borrowers in their homes outnumbered foreclosures completed by a ratio of more than ten to one in the first quarter, a significant increase over the fourth quarter 2008 ratio of six to one. Citi continued to show increased success in Illinois specifically, with company initiatives keeping homeowners in their homes by a ratio of more than eight to one, compared to over five to one last quarter.

Sanjiv Das, CEO of CitiMortgage, said, "Preemptive outreach to homeowners is often the best defense against foreclosure. At Citi, we are committed to working with our national and local community partners as well as using Citibank's retail banking resources to communicate with homeowners, to keep people in their homes and to strengthen neighborhoods across the country. With upcoming events nationwide from Chicago, to Stamford, Conn. to Tucson, Ariz., I look forward to expanding upon the progress Citi and our partners have made in foreclosure prevention."

Chicago Homeowner Events Part of Citi's Ongoing Efforts to Keep People in Their Homes

This weekend, Citi will host homeowner outreach events in Chicago. The events, organized by Citi Community Relations, the OHP, Citibank retail banking and other nonprofit partners, will build on Citi's ongoing progress in keeping distressed Chicago homeowners in their homes.

Citi will meet with local leaders from Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Spanish Coalition for Housing and the Westside Ministers Coalition at events to discuss foreclosure prevention and homeowner assistance. Citi also will counsel at-risk borrowers from the Chicago-area on alternatives to foreclosure and offer specific tips on how they can get started, such as writing a hardship letter.

Similar events are scheduled in other cities significantly affected by the housing crisis such as Cleveland, Bakersfield, Calif. and Phoenix.

These community events are an extension of Citi's foreclosure prevention programs in which Citi works with nonprofit organizations through the following efforts: coordinating foreclosure prevention strategies across the country; offering broad-based financial education and free nonprofit counseling for its mortgage customers; and providing nonprofit counseling organizations with direct access to Citi's loss mitigation staff. In partnership with Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Citi was the first financial institution to support the 2003 launch of the Home Ownership Preservation Initiative (HOPI: undefined, undefined, undefined%) to provide foreclosure prevention initiatives and counseling programs in Chicago, which became the national blueprint for foreclosure prevention.

Ophelia Navarro, Executive Director of the Spanish Coalition for Housing, said, "Citi continues to be an important partner in our work to expand and preserve communities throughout the Chicago metro area."

Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. of Rainbow PUSH said, "The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is pleased to announce our partnership with Citi. Their successful and innovative initiatives around foreclosure prevention have positioned them as a leader in this area of business. We look forward to our work together to achieve our mutual goal of keeping homeowners in their homes."

Citi's Successful Foreclosure Prevention Initiatives

Last year, Citi launched the Citi Homeowner Assistance program, a multi-faceted program to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. Citi has developed programs addressing homeowners at all stages - from those who are current on their payments but may face economic distress, to borrowers who have fallen behind on their payments, to recently unemployed eligible customers - to provide assistance.

The company is using a variety of means to help homeowners, including expanding its specially trained servicing units to work with homeowners to find long-term solutions; a continuous evaluation of portfolios to identify those borrowers who may be eligible for reduced monthly payments; adoption of the Obama Administration's streamlined long-term modification program; and partnering with community and nonprofit partners through the Company's OHP to offer free services to borrowers and training to counselors.

Additional Statistics

Since the beginning of 2007, Citi's ongoing efforts in foreclosure prevention have helped approximately 520,000 of its customers avoid potential foreclosure.

Foreclosures completed in the total Citi servicing portfolio in Illinois were down approximately 41% in the first quarter of 2009 as compared with the fourth quarter of 2008, and down approximately 32% over the prior year time period.

For more information about Citi's foreclosure prevention efforts and for tips on how homeowners can preserve their home, visit
Source: Fox Business


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